The Other Side of the Wall

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We spent a night in Laredo at a lakeside state park, before waking early and hitting the border just a few miles down the road. Nada que declarar—but that didn’t matter, they wanted to see us anyway. Fortunately, our check didn’t look like this. We opened up one cabinet door, … Read More

Sick Kid and Truck

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Sort of a random week. We were hustling to leave Corpus by Thursday. Our new awning came in and was installed on Monday, but they ran into problems, so we had to bring it back out again on Tuesday. Not a big deal, but a bit of a pain in … Read More

Texas Beach Life

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Port Aransas beach. South Texas is not nearly as warm as you might think it would be—at least not if you grew up in Minnesota and assumed everything south of Iowa was tropical in the winter. Mexican air-conditioning. Only kids can manage to be hot in this weather. In Port … Read More

Small World

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Chance encounters happen all the time as a traveler. You’re on the top of a pyramid and you spot someone wearing a t-shirt from your high-school, or you are at a beach bar and you recognize someone from grade school. Things like that. But this one was different. I was … Read More

Corpus Truck Work

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We left Houston on a beeline for Laredo for our crossing into Mexico. Along the way we stopped in a couple state parks. We haven’t had much luck on the weather front lately—it rained for days, reminding us very clearly of two things. One: The one thing that we regret … Read More

Airstream Home Again

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It’s been a pretty crazy month for weather in Portland. Snow the day we arrived. An ice storm. And more snow when we left. Kids, of course, find all the changes to be interesting and fun. Adults, not so much. This old Chevy has been sitting in this very spot … Read More

New Year

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We kicked off 2017 with a… well, nothing, really. Celebrating a new year seems so random. I suppose some people really need it in order to hit the reset button, but we’re not really one of those. The new year does quickly usher in a birthday for me, which, since … Read More

Christmas

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Christmas. What is there to say? Kids open presents. Kids play with new toys. Kids move on, and everyone begins talking about next Christmas. We did  have a nice time. The kids gave Grammy their painted pottery gifts, and they got everything on their Santa Claus lists. The last minute … Read More

The Holiday Spirit

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I guess as much as anything else, Ali and I have tried to fill our kids’ lives with good memories. Their holiday memories aren’t focused on one location, so that it becomes a part of the background—instead, the locations become as integral a part of the memory as what actually … Read More

Snow Season?

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Houston, Texas. Who knew it could be so cold? Good prep for our trip up north to Portland, though. The kids finally got their Christmas lists together. We read a Berenstain Bears book years ago in which Sister Bear makes a long Christmas list, and Brother Bear warns her that … Read More

Beach Birthday

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There was just one nice day in the 10-day forecast, so with a bit of magic, Ouest’s 7th birthday moved up one week and we headed off to Holly Beach. All birthdays start with balloons. A few of them with a dollar slid inside. When we got to the beach … Read More

Grungy in NOLA

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I asked, “Do you guys have any idea how dirty you are?” And this was their reply. Lowe looked genuinely surprised. Ali and Ouest had to fly back to MN for a quick one-day trip, leaving me and Lowe to have a boys-only day. Lowe spotted this guy first. We … Read More